Author Topic: Western Electric 5302  (Read 5216 times)

Offline Willytx

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Western Electric 5302
« on: May 09, 2011, 12:53:28 PM »
Here is a WE 5302 type I won.

http://tinyurl.com/699ubcd

The base is dated 9-52, B1A ringer dated 11-49; network III 52; shell 5-12-65; receiver 9-12-41 and transmitter 9-41. The transmitter has a distinct fried electronics odor and some charring. Surprisingly (or not), it still works. The shell is in decent shape with only a few deep scratches. The handset is an F1W and the shell is only marked Western Electric. There is no adjustment for the ringer. It is not marked 5302 on the bottom like most.


Would this have been a phone sold without a ringer to an independent?  The Paul-F page mentions a model 5251 sold without a ringer or Bell system markings.
http://www.paul-f.com/we300typ.htm#5300


Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2011, 01:04:30 PM »
Since the ringer is there, it's more likely a 5302W.

These were readily available to independents through the Graybar catalog, among others.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2011, 01:28:00 AM »
 :o OMGWTHBBQ!!! A 5302W?!?! Those EXISTED?!?! :o

Sorry about that. I must've missed that memo. But there it is, bigger than stuff: A 5302 without Bell System markings! I didn't know. Wow. I must have one now.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 12:34:03 AM by TelePlay »

Offline Willytx

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #3 on: May 17, 2011, 02:32:09 AM »
Yep, a 5302W! That's why I wanted it. I need another 5302 like I need a hole in the head. Of course, I think these are about the coolest things around. There aren't many things that could be 'moderned up' like the 5302.

This one, without the ringer adjustment makes me think some independent did its own updating. The date of 1965 on the shell is a pretty late.

There are no painted markings on the base that I can see. The feet look to be neoprene, rather thick and tall, not like any others I have seen. The straight handset cord is also a plus.

Offline Brinybay

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 01:25:12 PM »
Looks like "Mr. Helpful" chimed in again.  I think there is more than one person who does that, and not just on ebay.  I hope that nobody here is doing that, but he/she's a real PITA.  This time he's wrong about the 5302 being a "transition" phone.  As I understand it, they came out after the 500, not before.  He also didn't recognize that it's missing Bell System markings and the significance thereof. 

Quote
Q:  Hi. Your telephone is a Western Electric Model 5302. This was called the "transition telephone" because it used the base and internal parts from the Western Electric Model 302 (those are the parts dated 1949 and 1952), together with a shell which looked much like the more modern W.E Model 500. This allowed W.E. to use up old parts but allowed the customer to have a modern-looking phone (and also, the Model 302 often worked better on long lines than the early 500's). The shell on yours appears to be dated 1965, which surprises me because the 5302's were mostly made in the early and middle 1950's, but apparently they were still making the shells in 1965. Nice phone!
The idea that a four-year degree is the only path to worthwhile knowledge is insane.
 - Mike Row
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Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 03:40:55 PM »
Yes, they came out after the 500 was introduced, and they were not really a transition phone, but rather a way to keep using 302's for a few more years with a new skin.
-Bill G

Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #6 on: May 19, 2011, 12:51:09 AM »
I think if they'd just come out with the 5302 first, the 500 and nearly all its successors would have been unnecessary and we'd still be using them today.

Okay, I'm exaggemerating just a little bit there. Are the acoustical and efficiency improvements introduced on the 500 really all that great?

Offline Phonesrfun

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 02:01:06 AM »
I think if they'd just come out with the 5302 first, the 500 and nearly all its successors would have been unnecessary and we'd still be using them today.

Okay, I'm exaggemerating just a little bit there. Are the acoustical and efficiency improvements introduced on the 500 really all that great?

Yes.  With the increased efficiency, it did away with needing a local battery talk and common battery ringing arrangements on long loops.  Also, the increased frequency response for the T1 transmitter and the U1 receiver elements made for a better more natural conversation.  The 500 had current limiting varistors in place to limit the current on medium and short loops to make it equivalent to a 302 in those situations.  That is why the 302 and the 5302 were only to be used on loop lengths to the central office of a "not to exceed X miles".  I don't remember what X was, but there was a BSP that covered it.

Other improvements were in the ringer sound, the ringer efficiency, and the way in which the dial cam pulsed the line in a more even way to make it also better on long loops.  The G1 handset was also more ergonomic than the F1 handset.

However, as you might imagine, on most loops (The distance between the subscribers residence or business and the central office) the 302 was just fine as far as transmission efficiency goes, and most people cannot even tell the difference in the improved frequency response of the T1/U1 combination.

So, while Ma Bell heralded the 500 as a great improvement on one hand, they did talk out of both sides of their mouth by creating the 5302 for many years.  Eventually, though the 500 became the standard.  So, even though you were "exaggemerating", your question does have merit.
-Bill G

Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 04:01:02 AM »
Since the ringer is there, it's more likely a 5302W.

These were readily available to independents through the Graybar catalog, among others.

Judging by the number of F1W handsets I've seen, I figure a lot of independents had several 300-series sets in service, particularly ones built in the early-'50s.

I read that the earliest 5300 shell found was made in August 1955 and the latest found is from 1965. Was the non-Bell 5300 conversion sold as a kit or were the parts usually ordered a-la-carte?

A little more searching and I've found that the non-Bell 5300-series are also found with either F handsets and G handsets, just as the Bell ones are.

Non-Bell Western Electric telephones really intrigue me! I see so many F1W's out and about (and I own two), and I have to wonder if that many were made or if, since they didn't have to be turned back in to the Bell System, they may have just had a better survival rate in the possession of private individuals and are turning up for sale everywhere.

Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #9 on: May 20, 2011, 02:01:17 AM »
Was the non-Bell 5300 conversion sold as a kit or were the parts usually ordered a-la-carte?

Non-Bell Western Electric telephones really intrigue me! I see so many F1W's out and about (and I own two), and I have to wonder if that many were made or if, since they didn't have to be turned back in to the Bell System, they may have just had a better survival rate in the possession of private individuals and are turning up for sale everywhere.

AFAIK, the only way for a user to get a 5302W was through a phone company.  Outside the Bell System, a nationwide network of small phone refurbishers could order either kits or parts from Western Electric.  The kits came with instructions on what to change.

I had the opportunity to talk with several refurbishers about the process they used.  One admitted that he used such unskilled labor that he had to draw diagrams of what a 302 looked like and each major step of the conversion and testing process.  He knew they often took short cuts, such as not adding the ringer loudness control.  Most sets done outside the Bell System were either unmarked (sometimes the 300-series model number was left in place) or marked with different numbers than were used in the Bell System.  One refurbisher used 5310 for sets that started out as 410s, but were usually converted to single line.  The Bell System left them as 2-line sets, marked 5410.

Numerous other models and components were also available in -W models, without Bell System markings.  An example in another current thread is the 543 motel keyset.
  http://www.classicrotaryphones.com/forum/index.php?topic=4843.msg61374#msg61374

One could build an impressive collection of only -W items.

They were listed for many years in Graybar catalogs and also in Western Electric government cataogs.
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 02:03:37 AM by paul-f »
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #10 on: May 20, 2011, 06:45:49 AM »
The two phones I use the most here at home are, what I believe to be, a 302GW (H1/F1W) and a 354CW (M3/F1W) (currently wired as a 352 since it came to me lacking a ringer, all I had was a B1A, and we are on a straight single line here anyway).

Did the 5302 follow the same suffix pattern as the 302? And was it still considered an H1 mount with the completely different housing, or did that make it a different animal in that respect?
« Last Edit: May 20, 2011, 07:23:37 PM by deedubya3800 »

Offline paul-f

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #11 on: May 20, 2011, 02:17:21 PM »
Did the 5302 follow the same suffix pattern as the 302? And was it still considered an H1 mount with the completely different housing, or did that make it a different animal in that respect?

5300-type sets were created from 300-type sets.  Once converted, the new model number was exactly the same as the original set with the addition of the 5 prefix.  Any suffix info remains the same.

The BSPs and catalogs I recall reading are silent on the notion of mounting codes for 5300-type sets.  Unless we find other evidence, it's likely that mounting codes were not considered necessary.  (None were used on the 500-series.) 

Since mounting codes include the housing, my opinion is that changing the housing would render the original mounting code inaccurate.

BSPs for 300-series sets that were revised after the 5300s were introduced, usually contained a reference to the derived 5300-series model as well.  Check out the 502-400 group BSPs in the TCI Library.
Visit: paul-f.com         WE 500  Design_Line

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Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2011, 02:49:12 AM »
Ah! These BSPs do clarify it a good deal. Now I know why there are 5302F and 5302G. They follow the 302F and 302G, though it seems that what distinguished the F & G from one another on the 302 didn't necessarily translate to any detectable difference on the 5302.

I figure mount type designations were probably unnecessary and unspecified for the 5300s as mount codes seem to have been completely phased out by 1955, leaving just the model number to say everything about the set. In fact, the BSPs in the TCI Library from 1964 don't bother listing mount types for any of the 300-series, and make only casual mention of the 200-series using a D-type mount. Looking back, mount codes were really redundant for the 300-series as the model number/mount type relationship was very consistent, whereas many 100- and 200-series models could have been housed in either an A, B, or D mount.

Offline Sargeguy

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2011, 03:58:34 PM »
My guess was that mounting codes were relevant when subsets and magneto boxes were still common, as when the 302 was introduced.  By the mid-50s the vast majority of telephones were self contained making them obsolete.  You still find them on 300 series made in the 50s though.
Greg Sargeant
Providence, RI
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Offline deedubya3800

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Re: Western Electric 5302
« Reply #14 on: May 25, 2011, 08:01:19 PM »
:o OMGWTHBBQ!!! A 5302W?!?! Those EXISTED?!?! :o

Sorry about that. I must've missed that memo. But there it is, bigger than stuff: A 5302 without Bell System markings! I didn't know. Wow. I must have one now.

Got one! :) Here's the thread.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2014, 12:34:29 AM by TelePlay »